A Day at Chatuchak Market
I haven’t done a great deal of market shopping before so why not start with the largest Weekend market in the World, Chatuchak Market. I had heard a lot of things about it and was eager to see for myself so I paid a visit to find out what Thai market shopping was all about.
As soon as I stepped off the Skytrain and walked with a massive mob of people down to the entrance of the Market, I knew I was in for a long day of walking! Even at the entrance, you are taken back by the sheer magnitude of stalls that cram themselves inside this market. 15,000 stalls says it all really…
Equipped with my trusty map, I decided to dive right into things. I ventured into Section 7 to start with and within minutes I was lost. The stalls are separated into Sois (Roads in English) and can be confusing when looking at a huge map. But I ploughed through and what I saw was incredible. I had found the art section which was a unique experience. Many vendors handcraft their work for customers inside their stalls and I was able to catch a sneak peek. The finished artwork is just as impressive. The pieces range from metal works to huge portraits and the difference from stall to stall was remarkable. For people thinking of heading to Chatuchak, this should be number one on your list of things to see, even if you are not thinking of making a purchase. Seeing it for yourself may change your mind!
I emerged back into the beating Bangkok sun and was already feeling a little hungry so I walked around to the Food Court in Section 3. This was a very different ambience to Section 7. There were thousands of cooks ready to dish up something delicious. I went for Pad Thai, a simple introduction to Thai Food. It was delicious! I opted for a fresh Orange Juice as well which was a wise choice after I was too keen with the spices. It all came to 60 Baht ($2 USD) which even for Asia was a bargain.
Onwards I marched in search of a great deal. I headed straight for the Central Tower inside the market to get me into the action. There were stalls selling so many Thai souvenirs it was mind-boggling. From remote controlled Tuk-Tuks to authentic Thai scarfs, the market really covered all the bases. I grabbed a small handcrafted toy elephant to bring back home. It cost me 150 Baht which I thought was a bargain.
After walking for 3 hours, I was tired, sweaty and ready for my hotel bed but instead, I stumbled across to a Thai massage parlour. Good move. For 250 Baht I was given a full body massage for 1 hour. At the time, I thought it was the best money I had ever spent. The masseur was lovely and when I told her I had a shoulder problem she was able to help soothe the pain. I came out feeling a new man and I gave her a 100 Baht tip for relieving my shoulder.
My day out at Chatuchak Market really opened my eyes to Thai culture. There was plenty of smiling faces and unique items to shop through. If you’re looking for an air-conditioned super mall, you won’t find it here. But what you will find is a spectacular insight into the Thai way of living and a full experience of South-East Asian markets.
Looking for more information on Bangkok Market/JJ Market? Head to our Blog for everything you need!